Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Shaking Things Up

I’m going to be quoting a lot from this press release because nearly every paragraph is huge:

Apple today announced executive management changes that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles. Apple also announced that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.

Forstall is out. Despite the Maps PR shitstorm, I was not expecting that. The guy was responsible for much of Mac OS X in the early years before moving over to run the iOS team. He’s been one of the few people steering the direction of the look-and-feel of Apple’s operating systems and their integrated applications for the past ten years.

Forstall’s Businessweek profile painted an unflattering portrait of a man deliberately trying to ape Steve Jobs. He’s clearly talented, though. I can’t wait to see where he goes now.

Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design.

This certainly sounds promising.

Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri and Maps, placing all of our online services in one group.

Good start. Cue’s direction of online services is, for the most part, excellent (with the obvious exception of iCloud, but then, I am basing that on my total lack of knowledge of how much data they process which, I assume, is a lot given the amount of down time it has).

Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X. Apple has the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems, and this move brings together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms.

Hair Force One is in the house. The totally smooth Mountain Lion launch proved Federighi’s competence, and I can’t wait to see what this means for iOS. I suspect it’s good news.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.

Remember when Bob Mansfield was retiring? And then Tim Cook played the part of Ashton Kutcher to say “just kidding”? Now he’s running Apple’s most vaguely-named group. This combination of areas makes sense, though: hardware design, hardware engineering, and software engineering and design. Three big groups to make Apple’s entire lineup. How to sell them?

Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook.

Guess they didn’t like his cost-cutting at all costs approach. No surprises there.

Huge news. It’s going to be an interesting morning on the NASDAQ, provided it’s open, of course.

Update: The stock exchange won’t be open until Wednesday at the earliest, which gives a day of thought for all investors. The uncertainty will likely see Apple’s stock drop.